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.org/history. >> yesterday, a senate homeland security subcommittee on contract oversight looked at afghanistan reconstruction contracts. witnesses include contractors to receive money from the u.s. agency for international development and the army corps of engineers as well as defense department and usaid officials. missouri democratic senator clear ms. castle -- clare mccaskill chaired the two-hour hearing. if the witnesses have become -- i have a formal statement prepared but i have decided not to give a formal opening statement. and just express the reason for this hearing. this is not the first hearing we have had in the subcommittee on contract thing in our contingency operation. and i began working on this problem almost the day i wrought -- arrived in the senate. when i travel to iraq to do nothing but look at contracting oversight because i couldn't figure out how in the world things had gotten so out of control in terms of contacting in iraq. i went over to iraq and i realized why they had gotten out of control. contract and representatives were just a low man on the total bowl being
in afghanistan and pakistan. not later than 120 days after enactment of this act, the entity described in subsection 8, shall submit to the president and the congress, a report. sense of congress, it is the sense of congress that the entity should be modeled on the iraq study group. section 8127, not more than $200 million may be expended -- the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise. mr. carter: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 31 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. carter of texas. strike lines 6 through 9 relating to military musical units. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. carter: i rise to address an issue i think is very important to the patriotic men and women who fight and defend our country. representative mccollum, in good graces, asked that we restrict the military band funding by $120 million and in an attempt to help with the savings. but the congressional budget office has informed us that this reduction, this $120 million re
.s. policy in afghanistan and iraq. we want to begin the segment by talking with the defense policy reporter with bloomberg news. she joins us by phone. she has traveled with defense and that i ton patte iraq. talk about what you heard the defense secretary do while he was overseas. guest: it was interesting to watch secretary panetta and compare how he handled the trip and his interaction with troops and with foreign leaders to secretary gates. he has fairly big shoes to f ill, according to people who were quite complementary. leon panetta also has a lot of familiarity with u.s. military forces. forces. with the commanders and foreign leaders that he is meeting with and going to be interacting with. with his experience as cia director for more than two years before taking this job and in other capacities, for example, a member of iraq study group that did the independent assessment in 2006 of the war in iraq. host: was specifically was the defense secretary trying to accomplish on this trip? guest: he wanted to go out and touch base with the troops themselves and make that connection. it is
a week in afghanistan. among the expenditures, our payment for projects that are rebuilding infrastructure in afghanistan, roads, bridges, schools, in some cases hospitals. "the washington post" recently reported that the afghan government is taxing american aid. we send money there to build a road. we have to hire contractors in order to do that. and the afghan government is trying to tax that money for their own coffers. so it's not enough that our taxpayers are spending billions of dollars on projects to rebuild their infrastructure. the afghan government is literally trying to reach in the pocket and double dip and tax our taxpayers for our taxpayers' generosity in giving them money. . how does that make any sense at all? after this was reported, they are stepping up their efforts to grab that cash. they are doing things like threatening to detain contractors. if they don't pay up, take money that's assigned to build that road and put that money in the afghan covers, the afghan officials are threatening to detain our contractors. they are denying licenses to our contract
the civil war in afghanistan. i do not understand why members of congress want to spend $10 billion a month in afghanistan when our people back home are struggling. i can assure you the american people do not understand it, either. in june, a poll was conducted by the pew research center where 56% of the american people polled said bring our troops home now. not later. mr. speaker, i brought back the picture of edy and stephanie. their father and lieutenant colonel palmer, died, and that continues to haunt me. and the way they died continues to haunt me. that's the reason i wanted to bring this picture down here again. they were given the task to train afghans to be policemen. the two were shot and murdered by one of the trainees. what really haunts me is the email sergeant baldwin sent to his wife the day before he was shot and killed. i quote the email, i don't trust them. i don't trust them. for anything. not for anything at all. why in the world do we continue to send our young men and women overseas to get theirselves blown up, shot, and murdered by people they are trying to train? the
and afghanistan. and my belief that there is a smarter way to achieve our national security goals. and so, madam speaker, since that day i stood here in this spot to say over and over again that these wars are eroding our spiritual core. bankrupting us morally and fiscally. teaching our children that warfare is the new normal. i have delivered these speeches as a member of the majority and the minority when the president was a member of my party and when he was not, and today i am doing it for the 400th time. when i began the war in iraq was still quite popular. as was the president who launched it. but we spoke out anyway, refusing to bend on principle because we knew that we did not belong there. my colleagues, representative barbara lee and representative maxine waters and i, we called ourselves the triad, started the out of iraq caucus. we first -- forced the first house vote to bring our troops home. along the way i visited iraq, i tried and i learned on that trip and my opinion was confirmed against that very war, but at the same time it increased my admiration for our troops. gradually th
rodriguez says he doesn't expect violence in afghanistan to start decreasing until next year. from the pentagon earlier today, this is 45 minutes. >> general rodriguez, it's counselor dave lapin at the pentagon. if you're ready to go, i'll introduce you and we'll get started. >> ok, dave, go ahead, thanks. >> thank you. good morning to those here, good evening in afghanistan. i'd like to welcome pack to the pentagon briefing room, army lieutenant general david rodriguez. he's commander of the international security assistance force joint command, also known as i.j.c. and also the deputy commander of the united states forces afghanistan. general rodriguez's current tour began in june, 2009, he became the first commander of the i.j.c. in october of that year. prior to that, general rodriguez was commander of regional command east for 15 months from january, 2007 to april, 2008. next week after two straight years in command and more than 40 months in after gap stan over the past 4 1/2 year, general rodriguez is ski wruled to change command and return stateside to have u.s. army forces
military engagements in iraq, afghanistan, and now libya. i speak of the need also of a new smart security to keep america safe. today will be my 399th speech. i look forward to reaching number 400 next week, and i will continue this until my last day as a member of congress, which gives me approximately 18 months, 1 1/2 years, time to bring our troops safely home. during this week, the week that the house is debating the appropriations, i thought it would be fitting to focus on more spending, on the staggering costs that taxpayers are being asked to bear for our military occupation. $10 billion a month is a lot of money, and that's the price tag for the privilege of continuing to wage a 10-year war against afghanistan. $10 billion a month. the american people who are writing that check have a right to ask and to get answers to some very important questions. where is that money going and what exactly is it accomplishing? what are we getting for our $10 billion a month? are we more secure here at home? is the afghanistan central government introducing the rule of law? have we not already de
and done, iraq and afghanistan will suck the treasury dry to the tune of at least $3.7 trillion. enough already. mr. chairman, the pentagon is like that teenager. you keep giving the kid the keys to the car and he keeps crashing it. it's time we cut him off. we must draw the line and we must draw it here. no more money for libya. no more continuance in libyan hostilities. i urge my colleagues, support this amendment. i yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. poe: the gentleman says we have gone to war in the name of humanity. in other words, the president's war in libya is so that we can preserve humanity in libya. in the history of peoples, as the gentleman from california has pointed out, in the histories of countries, it has always been the king, the dictator, the tyrant, the chief, the leader that has sent that particular country to war. so when our ancestors got together and they formed a new and perfect union, they decided it would not be the leader,
troops home from afghanistan. i do that because i have the privilege to represent the third district of north carolina, the home of camp lejeune marine base, cherry point and seymour johnson air force base. i have been privileged since i didn't serve to have great relationships with active duty and retired marines in the district, and i want to share with this house, mr. speaker, that we continue to support a corrupt leader and a corrupt government. just recently, the half brother of mr. karzai, half brother named wali karzai, was murdered in afghanistan. this only reinforces the fact that afghanistan is in a fragile situation at every level of their government. it is in chaos, quite frankly. just this week i spoke with a marine colonel who's been to afghanistan three times. he was in my office on tuesday, and he shared the same sentiments as the retired marine general who has been advising me for 20 months, and recently i emailed the general and said, please give me your ideas of what mr. obama has proposed in bringing 10,000 of our troops out in july and then another 23,000 in -- n
panetta went to iraq and afghanistan. he did not go to pakistan. i take that as a strong message. it is easy when you're in that region to attack on an extra couple of days for an important ally. i think that cross the minds of everyone who planned the trip. it was clearly a conscious decision not to go to pakistan. i think that is in part because when osama bin laden was killed on may 2 there was a list of things that we would ask the pakistan's to do, the pakistani to do, and i have not acted on any of them. this administration also put a hold on a $10 million in assistance. a great way to resolve that is sending the defense secretary to talk to folks about what is going on, but he did not. you are seeing already how differently the pentagon will treat allies in the region. "the in this morning's financial times" they had this headline -- guest: the withdrawal deadline is aggressive. they're talking about getting half of the troops out during the prime fighting season. they do not fight as much during the wintertime. we are starting to withdraw troops during a tumultuous situat
of honorable and distinguished service, but the fact remains that the fundamental realities in afghanistan haven't changed. "the new york times" put it plainly, noting that the general is, and i quote them, "the general is leaving behind a country racked by deep political instability whose fledging security forces are fighting a weakened but deadly insurgency that kills coalition troops and afghan civilians and officials nearly every day." that's a pretty damning assessment, mr. speaker, and it's accurate. in recent weeks two of president karzai's most powerful allies, including his brother, have been gunned down by the taliban. and ordinary afghan citizens are caught in the line of fire as never, never before. the u.n. recently reported that more afghan civilians were killed in the first half of 2011 than in any other six-month period since the war began. some these casualties are the accidental result of errant attacks and night raids by u.s. and nato forces. but the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths came at the hands of insurgents often using suicide bombers. there were nearly 1,
spending in iraq and -- of spending in iraq and afghanistan. how about that? we will spend more than $833 million in the next three days in kabul and baghdad. in part to help build clean water systems there. in part to help create jobs there. i just think that's inexcusable that we find ourselves in a position where we're spending in two or three days in iraq and afghanistan when we could spend to eliminate this cut and provide clean drinking water for the people of our country. the amount of subsidies we're going to give oil companies. the oil companies made record profits in 2010. they made about $60 billion in profits, if i'm not mistaken. $77 billion, actually, in profits last year. we'll spend six times as much of this cut in the clean drinking water fund to give money away to those oil companies this year. these are people who made $77 billion in profits last year, whose stocks are off the charts, who are paying their c.e.o.'s hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation, and we're going to give them about $7 billion from the wallets of the people of this country this year. that'
a reason why we are in iraq and libya and afghanistan. but having said that, let's face it, it would be ridiculous to assume that i'm making an appeal for democrats when what i'm talking about is those people who are vulnerable. because of our financial center cause people to lose their homes, it wasn't just democrats, there were democrats, republicans, independents, and those that have no faith in government that woke up in the morning, they lost their jobs, they lost their home, they lost their pension funds, they lost their savings, they had to pull their kids out of school, they lost their self-esteem, some lost their homes. i don't remember anywelfare reform we are talking about people that are registered democrats. these are americans that are expected -- that expected more from their government than just saying that we will be able to address your deeds in the by and by. and the very people that are aged, god knows we are not talking about a party label. we are talking about our sick or we are talking about medicaid, we are talking about medicare, when we talk about social sec
at military bases worldwide from iraq to afghanistan to guantanamo bay. most often, he travels with his group, which you have heard about. the cookies on the table are a tribute to that. they are the focus of a feature-length documentary that chronicles the band travels to entertain the troops. they have a website. they are doing a launch very soon where people can watch that. kfar the proceeds will benefit the gary sinise foundation. while dismissing the speculation that he is running for political office -- [laughter] but we might follow up on that today. our guest has been an outspoken critic of bureaucracy and red tape that often delays and prevents service members and veterans from getting care and benefits. he has said the nation is not doing enough to help disabled veterans and u.s. troops wounded in iraq and afghanistan. he has called on the government to -- and the private sector to spend more on victims of posttraumatic stress disorder and get them some help. he is a star who moonlights as a soldier's advocate. our speaker has questioned his own industry at times while producing fil
're at war for 10 years, in afghanistan and iraq at surge levels. we assume we're going to be fighting this war for 10 more years, with over 100,000 troops in afghanistan and oh, gosh, wait, we're going to withdraw our troops in 2014. $1 trillion in savings. i've got a better idea. let's pass a bill to cover the moon with yogurt that will cost $5 trillion today. and then let's pass a bill the next day to cancel that bill. we could save $5 trillion. wait, i've got a better idea. our debt is $14 trillion. let's come up with a new plan to spend $14 trillion, then rescind it the next day and let's save $14 trillion. this stuff is fiscal fantasy. you can't make this stuff up, mr. speaker. suggesting that we're going to be in a war at these levels for 10 more years when everybody knows we've already decided not to do that, that does not get us $1.3 trillion in spending cuts. only in washington can you add up math like that. we need real spending cuts. i yield myself an additional minute to say, this is getting serious, mr. speaker. very serious. we can't keep spending money we just don't hav
in iraq, afghanistan, and elsewhere. what we need to do is have a growth agenda. we need to reprioritize. so instead of subsidizing off-shore jobs, we are subsidizing the growth of manufacturing here in the united states. let me make my second point. this is what the is about. republicans put a bill on the floor that they call cut, cap, and balance. i called it cut, cap, balance, wink, and nod. it absolutely wasn't real. if you just lost your job, because it was out sourced. if you are the c.e.o., you made the million dollars, you get a $100,000 check in the mail tax cut. how is that fair? backbone of the american economy. and the bill on the floor was a kick to the stomach. we need solutions defend middle class than those who provide tax holes for the middle class. host: i want to ask about yesterday what was provided for the public? guest: if you were an auto broker, yeah, it was a good deal. but going into that deal, most was recouped. at the end of the process, yes, over $1 billion, if you are an auto worker, and you are checked your job, and we have a job analysis in the united stat
, republican congress and the bush years, wars in iraq, wars in afghanistan not paid for, prescription drug bill not paid for, and bush tax cuts for wealthiest americans which have caused most of the deficit, and the problem with the debt ceiling. now we are not calling on them to make some sacrifice and pay for it. most everybody in america knows about dieting. most of us are a little overweight. michelle obama will tell you that any day. we need to watch our weight. but when you go to diet, you got to reduce your calories, and you got to exercise some more. spend some calories, reduce some calories. that's the way you diet. the same thing with the budget. you got a problem at home with your budget, well, maybe you think i won't take that vacation and go to miami beach and stay in that three star hotel, i'll go to fort walton and stay in a two star hotel and maybe get another job or work some more overtime. increase your income, you decrease your spending. and you get it together. this congress, though, has got the problem because in dealing with this and the debt ceiling is independent of
of iraq and afghanistan, it would take a serious look out of social security and medicare and in many cases contributing to this deficit. and it would say that those who benefit from ethanol subsidies and oil company tax breaks, the wealthiest people in this country would have to pay a little bit more to pay their fair share. something like that is what should be on the floor here this afternoon because it can pass, the president can sign it and it can solve the fiscal problems of this country or take us in the right direction. but we don't have something like that. instead we have a plan that says the following and puts it in the constitution, the guy who runs an ethanol company who gets massive public subsidies can make profits is completely left alone. he doesn't have to do anything. but for the woman who cleans his office at night is going to have to pay more to go to college, more for health care for herself, her children and her parents and more for just about anything she wants in her life. there's something wrong with that picture. sacrifice that is broadly shared is needed in
that they're bringing back, they are companies specifically going after returning iraq and afghanistan veterans to be able to hire them. it was interesting, we were talking about drilling and you go into a drilling platform and they say their favorite people to be able to hire are tank drivers returning from the war zone because they're used to driving equipment, looking on a screen and dealing with multiple things all at once. these are folks employing our veterans and they're engaged in providing great jobs. i was on a fracking site, being able to watch it. it's high tech job, people on computers, as well as people in pumping, trucks, people providing food, people providing the equipment, it's people with big wrenches and people with small computers. and you see this multitude of different jobs provided by oil and natural gas and by fossil fuels we're producing right here in america. we are at a moment that we can either say, we want all green jobs, we want to destroy the jobs producing fossil fuels, or we can say, let's do both. let's encourage the growth of green jobs but let's not
, secretary panetta and the president discussed implementation of our strategy in afghanistan, including consolidation and training afghan security forces, the reduction of u.s. troop levels that the president announced last month and process of transitioning lead security to the afghan government. the president thanked everyone for their service and said that he looked forward to working with them closely as they take up their important positions. >> any discussions about continuing concerns about weakening of the effort? >> not in this meeting. i believe we addressed that issue. the president feels very strongly that because of the success we have had in making progress towards achieving our goals, defeating, disrupting -- dismantle and defeat, reducing the -- stopping the momentum of the taliban and training of afghan security forces, we can begin to draw down our surge forces. 10,000 this year and 30,000 next year. >> has treasury secretary geithner told the president that he would like to leave -- >> not that i'm aware of no. >> i think he will be here for the foreseeable future. [c
need to refocus our energy in afghanistan to go after al qaeda. we are going after al qaeda. we have taken out their leadership. because of our progress and the extraordinary sacrifice up our troops, we are propelling the commitment i made at the start to reduce our troops starting this month so that afghans can start taking responsibility for their own security and we can start rebuilding right here at home. [applause] it is time to start rebuilding here at home. it is time for nation-building right here. we live in a world where america is facing stiff competition for good jobs from rapidly growing nations like china, india, and brazil. for a long time, we were told that the best way to win that competition was to undermine consumer protection, undermine clean air and clean water laws, hand out tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. that was the idea that helped for close to a decade. -- held sway or close to a decade. it did not work out very well. if you look at our history, it has never worked out real well. -- very well. america was built on the hard work and ingenuity of
and distinction in iraq and afghanistan would feel that way to draw back on the benefits that they earned. during the bush years our country spent $1.5 trillion in iraq and national defense. the turnaround in our budget picture during the bush years was remarkable. in october of 2008, cnn reported that the debt clock had run out of numbers. the debt clock actually had exceeded 13 digits that had been allotted to the clock and had to be revised. according to one report at the end of the bush term, the number of jobs in the nation increased by 2%. that's the lowest at anytime since data began to be collected seven decades ago. gross domestic product was at the lowest pace since the truman administration, and the price that america has paid for the theology that suggested during all of those years that tax cuts pay for themselves. you can't find a mainstream economist in this town today who will acknowledge that argument. and yet we hear now more tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. by the time that the bush years ended, the debt had increased to $10.6 trillion, setting a record for any administra
in afghanistan alone to prop up a corrupt and incompetent karzai government. how about ending wasteful subsidies to big agriculture companies? how about asking billionaire hedge fund managers to pay the same tax rates as their secretaries? the truth is that the best way to deal with our long-term fiscal situation is to grow our economy. that means creating jobs and putting people back to work. the last election i thought was about jobs. we haven't talked about jobs at all since the new republican majority became -- came to power. that means investing in things like education and infrastructure and green technology and medical research. that's the kind of economic future the american people deserve. the boehner default plan would take us exactly in the wrong direction and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman is recognized. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, as i listen to my friend from the other side
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